Review : Rey with Lightsaber and BB8 (The Force Awakens)
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : Figure #02 (Phase 3 Wave 4 amended re-release)
Released : Jan 2016 in US / June 2016 in UK
Price : £22.99
Rey, packed in with BB8, was the #02 figure when the red phase Black Series debuted on Force Friday (4th September 2015). At that stage The Force Awakens was still not released, and we knew very little about the character.
Roll on another few months and the #02 Rey found itself in very short supply, and the figure was repacked in both the 3rd and 4th waves. It is the 4th wave however that is of interest to us in this review as the figure underwent some pretty significant changes in this re-release. First up was the inclusion of Luke's Lightsaber, a plot point that had been held back until after the films release. But Rey and BB8 both got paint upgrades, improving both figures now end.
This newer version of Rey was never re-numbered and sits as #02 with no immediate packaging changes and arrives in the gloss black packaging with the striking red spine and character backing insert. On the left side panel the character name is picked out in small red text and then much larger, but very discreet, grey text. The bold red stripe on the right side shows the numbering system for these figures, while the back has a multi-lingual bio of the character. This too is unchanged from the original release.
Into the packaging and the figure comes in the usual clear insert tray, with the newly added lightsaber presented to the side of the staff which is still included.
Rey herself is very well sculpted, although the head perhaps feels a little featureless - a common issue in sculpting younger female faces in particular. Her hair sits in a very (dare I say Leia-esque) complex style with trailing pieces and tie backs which leave her with 3 pony tails. The outfit is relatively simple, but again captures the look of the original trilogy when you compare it to what Luke wore on Tatooine in the 1977 original.
You can clearly see in comparison images that the paint on this re-release is much more defined and brings out the sculpt that was originally hidden under a rushed paint job.
The re-release is not perfect however, and the figure I am reviewing here suffers with some significant paint errors on the hair with the flesh tone showing through in a few patches.
Under the wrapped gown are a upper tunic and some knee left trousers, and her arms are wrapped in a similar bandage type material down to some leather braces around her wrists. Slung round her waist is a belt, which contains a pouch or bag of some kind around the rear. Boots are ankle high and fairly featureless, although there is some pattern when you get up close.
While the face was updated in terms of painting, the rest of the outfit remains pretty much the same - although the waist bag on Rey's belt looks darker and better defined. The clothing is painted very nicely with no noticeable paint bleed or errors. The under garments are picked out in a very light off-white, while the outer robe is a more tan shade. Hasbro did miss an opportunity to weather the costume a little more for this re-release - as I said the first time round I would have expected some wash and highlights to bring out the depth in the outfit and weather it a bit considering what we have seen of Rey on Jakku.
Articulation, and we start at the head which is on a ball joint. It rotates a full 360 degrees, but there is almost no movement up or down which leaves Rey looking straight ahead in all poses.
The shoulders are ball jointed, with her left getting up to a full 90 degrees to her body while the right sticks a little due to the shoulder sculpt. Elbows bend and swivel and there is both a swivel and joint on the wrist. This all means a good wide range of arm movement and the ability to hold her staff in both hands if needed (and probably a blaster too if she needs to).
The waist is jointed, but moves very little - springing back to a central position. Hips are ball jointed and if needed you can use these and the knee joints to get Rey into a splits or kneeling position. However, the sculpted robe does restrict the leg movement and you could argue maybe should have been soft goods, but that will always be controversial and not to every ones tastes. Rey stands pretty well with articulated ankles.
The staff is taller than Rey herself, and is cast in a brown plastic. Two "wraps" are sculpted onto the main body and painted in off-white. And a strap hangs off the staff and is sculpted to be hanging down when the staff is upright, leaving you with one real position for the staff when displaying Rey. Having now played with this staff for a second time you can sling it over the body of Rey, but it would have benefited from a more flexible strap to allow it to sit naturally. As it stands the strap loops up a little too much over the shoulder.
The Lightsaber is the same as packed with the Luke Skywalker releases to date (X-Wing, Bespin and Tatooine). This makes sense as it is essentially the same weapon. The hilt is silver with the red ignition button painted. The blue blade is clear yet vibrant and can be removed if you want to pose Rey handing over the unlit weapon - assuming we ever get a new Episode 7 Luke?
The figure has enough articulation in the arms to hold the saber in two hands, albeit at a lowered angle and not one of immediate readiness to fight.
Over to the other accessory / figure and BB8 is a pleasant surprise vs what we thought we may get. He is very heavy and is obviously weighted like a weeble. The head is nicely detailed and then weathered (unlike Rey). The head rotates a full 360 degrees round the body and moves from side to side on a peg which goes into the main body of the droid.
The original BB8's suffered from a lack of any detailing or weathering, and in a lot of cases the weathering was on his dome section only. The revised version gets a much more consistent application of black wash and this brings out the paneling and details of the round body and helps no end making BB8 stand out much more in a display.
At £22.99 these figures are not cheap. The articulation and sculpt are perfectly good and the paint is adequate, but could be better. BB8 is a nice pack-in and his head shows that when they think about it Hasbro can apply good paint weathering to bring out a figures sculpt.
In September 2015 when we first looked at Rey and BB8 I was probably over generous in awarding 4 out of 5, particularly with the state of the paint job at the time. Since then Hasbro have thankfully upped their game and therefore with the moving standards it is still probably fair to award a 4 out of 5 score for this release and downgrade the original to a 3.
If you want/need a Rey for your collection, then track this one down as it is streets ahead of its original (and in my opinion rushed) release. Beware, however, when buying online and confirm with the store or seller which version you are getting. On the flip-side of this improved release, there was also a wealth of pretty shocking figures, suspected faults, released in Winter 2016 via Toys R Us and Home Bargains in the UK.